The Ultimate Guide to Maskne
Like them or loathe them, face coverings and medical masks are part of our ‘new normal’ for the foreseeable. Besides being great protection from coughs and sneezes, we especially enjoy any excuse for an additional accessory. (Not to mention an easy escape from close talkers.)
But an unexpected and not particularly lovely legacy of mask wearing is a steamy microclimate (yuk), which causes break-outs of acne, and enlarged and clogged pores. Add dryness and sore irritation caused by the mask’s constant micro-frictions on your skin – as well as emotional stress-related flare-ups – and you can see why your skin is protesting louder than Team S&G when they cancelled Keeping Up With The Kardashians.
Known as ‘acne mechanica’ by clever bod dermatologists (the less master-minded of us call it ‘maskne’), this condition can affect anyone, at any time – even if you have been relatively spot-free before. However, never fear, enter Soap & Glory’s super-savvy, three-point plan to help detox, soothe, and treat your skin to potentially prevent maskne head on.
1. DOUBLE CLEANSE
If you don’t already double cleanse, now is the time to start – morning and night. Think about it: Two is better than one. Imagine Ross without Rachel, or only having one Oreo at a time. (Sorry, too far?) Do your skin a favour and treat it to twice the nice.
The first cleanse rids your skin of the surface layer dirt and pollutants. The second gives you a deeper clean and allows the active ingredients and formulas to get to work more effectively.
Start your cleanse with the ultra-hydrating Glow Your Mind Nourishing Cleansing Balm, which contains Vitamin C, as well as amazing avocado, apricot, marula and jojoba oils. It will leave you with superbly supple skin and a healthy lockdown-beating glow. The velvety, melting balm-to-milk formula removes all your makeup (yes, even waterproof mascara), and leaves no greasy, heavy residue.
Next, while your skin is plump and dewy from cleanse #1, follow up with Peaches & Clean Deep Cleansing Milk. Infused with Peachfruit extract and jojoba oil seed, this cleansing queen will remove any last traces of dirt, toxins and pollutants, and leave your skin feeling clarified, re-energised and radiantly ready to go (or ready for a bliss-filled bedtime).
2. MOISTURISE LIKE YOU MEAN IT
When battling acne and spots not seen since your teens, it might seem counter-productive to slather on emollients. However, stop thinking of your moisturiser as simple hydration, and instead as a super shield that creates a barrier layer – helping your skin defend its youthful appearance.
Speed Plump Super Moisturising Day Cream is a silky-light, paraben-free, fast-absorbing cream, containing hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance on your skin and is made up of glycosaminoglycan, which also forms a superhero protective shield to lock in a massive amount of moisture on your skin’s upper layer.
Top tip: Apply Speed Plump within 60 seconds of finishing your dual cleanse to lock in maximum hydration.
3. GIVE YOUR SKIN A TREAT
While we normally ace gentle exfoliation as part of most of our skincare routines, if you are suffering from acne or spots because of wearing a medical mask, give it a miss.
Instead, treat your hard-working skin to a deep cleansing mask to help remove pore-plugging sebum (sebum is the natural oil your skin produces to protect itself, but if allowed to build-up, it will cause blackheads and breakouts). No Clogs Allowed Deep Pore Detox Mask has a super intelligent formula, and works both as a cleansing treatment and a mask: massage in a circular motion and then leave on for two minutes.
As it is specifically created for oily and combination skin, you can use No Clogs Allowed in two ways:
- just on the areas of breakout for a targeted T-zone treatment if your skin is dry in other areas, or …
- as an all-over application. With chamomile and mint extracts, this luxuriously self-heating mask will purify your pores and leave your skin soft & refreshed.
Remove with a clean cloth and warm water, and follow up with Speed Plump Super Moisturising Day Cream, as above.
OTHER MASKNE-BEATING TIPS:
- Keep spare face masks in a clean ziplock pouch to protect them from daily grime.
- Wash your glasses every day, in antibacterial soap, leave to dry naturally and buff with a clean cloth.
- Choose masks made of natural fibres like cotton and silk, and wash after every use.
- Help destress your skin further by ensuring that you drink plenty of water, eat lots of fruits (berries are the biggest beauty boost), and get outside for exercise in the fresh air as much as you can.
- As long as you clean your brushes and follow our maskne-beating skincare tips above, you should be able to wear your normal makeup with your mask. For more makeup and mask tips, read our guide.
- Reduce steaming by wearing your glasses over your mask. Trust us, it works.